Central Bank of Portugal Grants Country’s First Crypto License to a Bank.
Portuguese-based bank Bison Bank has received permission from Portugal’s Central Bank (Banco de Portugal) to function as a “virtual asset service provider “(VASP), making it the first bank in the country to be given the green light by the regulator.
On Thursday, Banco de Portugal updated its list of virtual asset service providers adding “Bison Digital Assets” as its fifth licensed crypto exchange.
The company is newly created to operate under Bison Bank, which is fully held by a Chinese private capital firm based in Hong Kong.
According to local media, it will place its crypto services to high net worth customers.
In April 2021, laws were established regulating cryptocurrency exchanges to a licensing regime operated by the central bank.
Later that year, in June, licenses were approved for the exchanges Mind The Coin and Criptoloja, the first two VASPs permitted to operate in the country.
Central Bank of Portugal Grants Country’s First Crypto License to a Bank
In March 2021, the regulator granted the first “all categories” VASP license to Utrust, allowing the exchange to offer crypto-to-crypto swaps, transfers to wallet addresses, and custody and storage of private keys on top of offering a fiat on-ramp.
Bison Bank has also been granted an all-categories license.
Portugal has long been thought of as a crypto-friendly country and a crypto tax haven.
There are no capital gains or personal income taxes on cryptocurrency except if it’s an individual’s sole income.
Portugal considers cryptocurrency a form of payment or currency, not an asset.
In April 2020, the country established plans to develop Technological Free Zones (ZLTs), where businesses can test products and services.
The country outlined that it was looking at testing blockchain technology as part of its digital transformation plan.
In October 2021, the Portuguese government announced that it involved public and private sector businesses and experts to establish a working group to develop a National Blockchain Strategy.
The group has been studying how the country could apply the technology and clarify regulatory conditions.
The Portuguese government expects a draft of the strategy will be released at the end of this month, with a final version published in June 2022.
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